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I have two Chrome profiles set up using the --user-data-dir=<path> argument and I want to create two separate pinned task bar buttons for these two profiles (this is obviously on Windows 7). However, whatever I try, whenever I launch the second shortcut, Windows again merges them into a single (grouped) button.

I tried all the tricks I could find mentioned on the net (e.g. here):

  • pinning a shortcut to some other program and then modifying it to point to the second profile
  • creating hard links to chrome.exe (using mklink /H) and pinning those
  • creating an actual copy of chrome.exe and pinning that

I also looked into the approaches of using batch files or task scheduler links but while those do indeed allow me to have a persistent shortcut to the second profile on the taskbar, once I launch it the actual launched Chrome window gets grouped together with the first instance again.

However, ...

There appears to be no problem pinning any number of web pages to the task bar as "app shortcuts" so I'm not yet willing to let this go... But how does this work? How are these "app shortcuts" different (to Windows) from the shortcuts I created so far? Can I somewhere define a new application ID that makes the shortcut distinct from the others and thus prevents grouping?

(From what I've read it seems some of the tips mentioned above actually used to work at some point. The fact that they no longer do, might be due to Win 7 SP1 or the version of Chrome I'm using (13.0.782.112 as of this writing))

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I tried all the tricks I could find mentioned on the net…

once I launch it [sic] the actual launched Chrome window gets grouped together with the first instance again.

That’s the problem. With older apps, the hacks you mention will work. However, because Chrome has built-in support for Windows 7 jump-lists, as soon as you run it, any of your hacks suddenly go bye-bye.

(I just tried it myself and the manually created shortcut was deleted—without notice!)

Unfortunately it’s a case of un-progress. Your best bet is to file a bug report and “star” this issue that is at the basis of the problem (hbono said they started working on fixing it over two years ago).

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Just out of interest (and probably more on-topic at english.stackexchange.com): What was the reason for the "[sic]"? I am not a native speaker and I don't mind being corrected. Except for a possibly missing comma I don't see what I did wrong there, though. "it" refers to the shortcut. –  Oliver Giesen Aug 15 '11 at 8:25
    
Also (back to topic now): Thanks for the link to the Chromium issue. I hadn't thought of searching for "jumplists" in this context so far... –  Oliver Giesen Aug 15 '11 at 8:29
    
Thomas Poulin stated that you can make a regular shortcut to Chrome, and switch between accounts in-Chrome if they are all logged in. This is true, but it is not what this question is asking, which is to have different pins for immediate and automatic access to the different accounts so that each shortcut has its own site-data. Also, Chrome now has an actual command-line switch to specify user profiles, but it still doesn’t work with taskbar jumplists. –  Synetech Jun 11 '13 at 4:02

It's a registry setting. Taskbar groups programs based on a Registry setting that each program sets.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378460(v=vs.85).aspx

edit:

A tool to try is the Taskbar tweaker, which will allow you to take windows of the same application into different taskbar buttons.

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Thanks, that's a very useful resource. It almost got me there: I've now got two buttons with distinct AppUserModelIDs that allow me to launch each profile. However, the windows launched by these shortcuts still get grouped together into a single, third(!) taskbar button... From what I've understood from that article, this would have to be fixed by the Chrome developers themselves... :-/ –  Oliver Giesen Aug 12 '11 at 1:35
    
Oh, hummm. I didn't expect that. . . –  surfasb Aug 12 '11 at 6:34
    
Pinging you about this (soon to be deleted) answer. –  slhck Jan 15 '12 at 22:33
    
@OliverGiesen: One thing you can try is the Taskbar tweaker which provides a UI to split up Windows of an application into different buttons. –  surfasb Jan 15 '12 at 23:03

MachieChan's solution seems to work, but it can be simplified.

Chrome Settings > Users > Select User > Edit (This must be the current user)

In the bottom left of the popup window, click 'Add desktop shortcut'

Switch to any other users and repeat.

Close out of all instances of Chrome.

Unpin all Chrome shortcuts from the taskbar.

Right Click > Pin to Taskbar on each profile shortcut on the Desktop.

Note: You can move the shortcuts to any directory you want before pinning them.

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I thought I would share a simple method I used that requires no 3rd party software, just a few steps.

  1. Copy shortcut to chrome on your desktop
  2. Make as many copies of shortcut as there are profiles you need to pin
  3. (Optional) Name each copy the name of each profile
  4. Create a folder anywhere and move all of them into it (I created folder called "Profiles" in the C root)
  5. Now go into the properties of each shortcut and add the trigger to your profile

Example:

  1. Shortcut 1 - "C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" --profile-directory="Default"
  2. Shortcut 2 - "C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 1"
  3. Shortcut 3 - "C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 2"

And so on...

  1. (optional) You can change each shortcut so they look different on taskbar or match your profile image (see screenshot)
  2. Right click desktop and go to New > Toolbar and browse to the folder where your shortcuts are located and add it
  3. From here that is it, you have all the profiles individually on the taskbar. I Removed all text and moved it to the left side of the taskbar and have all my icons small. Of course you don't get jumplist but I personally don't use them for chrome so it works for me :)

Screenshot:

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